Vancouver Office Wins Local "Can"struction Competition

May 18, 2016

Turner’s office in Vancouver took home both local and national prizes at a recent Canstruction competition, a non-perishable sculpture contest from which all the cans go to benefit the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society.

The theme of this year’s competition was “Who’s Hungry,” and working alongside an owners representative, an architect, subcontractors, and engineers, the Turner team designed and created an enormous brown bear, standing in a rushing river, fishing for salmon. 

“At our first brainstorming meeting everyone came prepared with their ideas,” said Jennelyn Thompson, assistant engineer, “We wanted to make sure we came up with something original because we knew a unique build would score higher. Once we settled on the bear, our design team set about producing a buildable design in SketchUp. I like the design because it reflects the theme, and also ties in with the beauty and wilderness of our local, British Columbia landscape. And in an ironic twist, we decided to build the bear itself out of cans of salmon!”

Gearing up for the build, the team ordered cans, created plywood support layers, or templates, for the sculpture, and found new and creative uses for duct tape. On build day, the team was broken up and assigned four hour shifts, beginning at 7:30 in the morning. Only five people at a time were allowed in the 10-foot by 10-foot build area, but in a spirit of camaraderie and friendly competition, many people overstayed their shifts to unload additional cans, consult, and create important details for the finished product, such as the salmon heads and tails. “It was almost addictive,” said Jennelyn. “Once you started building you wanted to see it through. Of course we had a few unexpected hurdles—as always with construction—but our team was able to find a solution for each item and we finished around 5:40 in the afternoon. In all we used 5,016 cans.”

It was a record-setting year for Canstruction Vancouver, with 22 teams participating, which made it even sweeter when the Turner team and the bear took the local award for Best Rookie Team, as well as the competition’s top honor, the national award for Juror’s Favorite.

“It was fantastic to see Turner’s name up there among the largest construction and architectural firms in the city,” added Jennelyn. “We are very proud of this accomplishment, and about being able to help our community in such an essential way, through the food bank.”?


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